Last time on Sleeping Maiden:
"Arashi." Yuzuriha said nervously. "We have something to tell you."
"Tell me what?" Arashi asked, nervously looking at the faces of her foster sisters.
"You're a Princess, Arashi." Kotori said softly.
Arashi opened her mouth, but Yuzu cut her off by sticking a peice of tape over it. "16 years ago, we were invited by your parents to come to the party they held for you, because they had finally had a child. We gave you gifts, of beauty and strength, and were about to give you another one, but then.." Yuzuriha trailed off.
//My other sister,(for we are three are only sisters by claim) Kanoe, interuppted,// Hinoto continued. //She put a curse on you, that you would die on your 17th birthday by pricking your finger on a spindle.///
Arashi's eyes widened and she tried to pull off the tape. Kotori tied her arms to the chair and continued the story. "However, since I had my gift left to give, I changed the curse, so that instead of dying, you'll fall into a deep sleep, until you get awakened by the kiss of love."
Arashi blushed and tried to say something. She got cut off.
//Your parents, King Seiichirou and Queen Karen, have gone to great lengths to make sure this curse doesn't come true. But, they'd like to meet you on your birthday, Arashi. So, we're taking you to see them next week.//
Arashi said something, but all they could hear was muffledness. "Oops, sorry about that," Yuzuriha took the tape off her mouth. Arashi took a deep breath, and stared at her foster sisters.
"You mean to say that I am a Princess? And that I was cursed to die, and instead I'm going to be put into a deep sleep until I get a kiss from my ...my o-one true love?" she raised her eyebrows at this, fighting against a blush at the last words.
"Yep. That's exactly what we said," Yuzuriha started to untie Arashi from the chair.
"...But wait-" Arashi was silenced as the three fairies started to drag her from the room.
//Come on, we have to make you all nice and presentable for your parents. New clothes are in order, and we want to make sure your manners are fine, just in case.//
It was all Arashi could do to stop from screaming.
A week later, Arashi walked with the three fairies into the palace, pulling nervously at her dress. It had taken all three fairies, and a little threatening on Yuzuriha's side to bring Kusanagi in and have him hold her down to get Arashi to wear the dress, but she was wearing it. It was rather long and had puffy short sleeves, with ribbons running down the length of her arm. The ribbons were red, while the bodice was white and the rest of the dress a light lavender colour. Even though she didn't like dresses, she had to admit she looked good in this one. She could just imagine what Sorata would say if he saw her in it.
She imagined his grinning face in front of her, almost as if he was watching her right now, in that dress. In her mind, he came up to her and took her hand in his, then looked into her eyes. 'You look beautiful, Miss Arashi.' Despite herself, Arashi smiled softly at the image.
She was rudely pulled from her daydream when she walked headlong into the large door in front of the throne room.
"Arashi?" Yuzuriha gave her a funny look from where the three fairies stood waiting for the door to open.
"I'm fine." Arashi walked back and stood with them, hands nervously clasped in front of her.
After a very long pause, the doors opened and the fairies walked in. Arashi hesitated a moment, almost wanting to leave, then followed her foster sisters, no, guardians into the throne room.
At the front, two thrones sat side by side and in them, a woman and man. 'Those must be my parents,' Arashi thought, though she noted she looked nothing like either of them.
"Arashi?" The woman said, standing up and coming over to the young girl. She had short curly red hair, and gold eyes. She was really pretty, and Arashi could see where her own beauty had come from. The woman came to her and cupped her face in her hands. "You are Arashi." She hugged the younger girl fiercly. "I haven't seen you since you were a baby, and the fairies took you be raised safely."
Over the woman's shoulder, Arashi could see the man getting up as well, and when he reached the two women, she found herself being hugged by two people. So, they were indeed her parents, Seiichirou and Karen...
For a while, Arashi sat with her parents and talked about the last 16 years that she had been with the fairies. The fairies themselves went off to do other things in the palace, Kotori going into the kitchen to help prepare the feast, Hinoto started a conversation with the royal fortune teller, who lay comatose in another room, and Yuzuriha and Kusanagi had slipped away quite some time ago.
"Did the three fairies tell you about the curse?" Karen found herself asking her daughter late in the day.
Arashi looked down at her lap."Yes, just last week..."
Seiichirou leaned over and patted her shoulder. "Your mother and I have spent the last few years burning every spindle in the kingdom. We want you to stay with us, so this curse doesn't come true."
Arashi nodded, understanding. "If the curse did come true, and I fell into a deep sleep, only the kiss of ...true love would wake me up?" She asked, to confirm it.
Karen nodded. "Yes... that's what Kotori said when she changed the curse. Do you have someone in mind?" Arashi blushed and Karen laughed. "I thought so." She turned to her husband. "It's getting late, why don't we go to the dining hall?"
"That's a good idea."
The royal family started to make their way across the throne room, and Karen leaned over to Arashi. "Tomorrow, we're going to talk about your true love." She grinned, and Arashi flushed again. 'Darn you, Sorata.' she thought.
Arashi was about to follow her parents into the room when she heard a voice calling her. "Um, I'm going to go wash up. I'll be back in a few minutes." she hurried down the hall where Karen indicated the washroom was, and when they entered the dining hall, started on her way toward the voice.
'What is that voice, anyway?' She thought, realizing it sounded awfully familiar. She knew she should have turned right back around and gone to her family, but she kept walking up a long, spiraling stairwell. Finally, after what seemed like forever, she emerged at the top of the stairs, into a small, deserted room, except for a bed and a spinning wheel, complete with spindle.
Arashi sweatdropped and turned around. However, before she could walk down the stairs again, the door shut and locked. 'Oh no, this isn't good.' she thought to herself, and turned around once again to look at the room. That was alright, as long as she stayed away from the spindle, she would be fine. A movement in the corner of her eye, caught her attention, and she turned toward the only other living thing in the room, a woman with long black hair, wearing FAR too little clothing.
"Who are you?" she asked politely.
"I am Kanoe. And I'm hear to enforce the curse I placed on you 16 years ago."
"You're Kanoe? I figured she would be a little more...evil looking."
Kanoe flipped her hair over her shoulder. "I'll take that as a compliment. Now, prick your finger and fall into that deep sleep of yours. I would have liked it for you to die, but that darn Kotori changed my original curse."
"Because your parents didn't invite to the party to celebrate your birth, that's why. Now stop asking questions and prick your finger."
"Fine! Yuuto!" Kanoe snapped her fingers.
Before Arashi could blink, a wave of water swept her off her feet. She cried out and struggled to stand up as her dress clung to her. She pulled her hair out of her face and held her left hand in front of her. If what, Yuzuriha-san told her had been true....Yes, it was. With a sickening feeling, a sword swept out of her hand and she grabbed it and swung at the man who had appeared with Kanoe called.
He dodged and sent another wave of water toward her. In the small space of the room, Arashi couldn't dodge, and was swept back. In a panic, she grabbed at something, which happened to be the spindle of the spinning wheel. 'No!' she thought, as she blacked out.
"Well, that was anti-climatic." Kanoe remarked as the sword disapeared back into the girl's hand. "You had better put her on that bed, and we need to get out of here. I have an appointment at 7."
"Yes, Kanoe-san." Yuuto said cheerfully, and followed her orders. He layed the girl on the bed(only after drawing out the moisture from her clothes, so she'd look pretty for her true love), and followed Kanoe in disapearing.
Downstairs, in the dining hall, Seiichirou looked worridly at a clock. "Where is she? Even for a young woman, it's taking her an awful long time to wash up..."
Kotori looked nervous. "You don't think she wandered off, do you?"
Everyone at the table was silent. Then, everyone got up. "Wonderful." Karen remarked. "We let her out of our site for only a moment, and she goes off, as if searching for that curse."
The three fairies suddenly stiffened. "...She found it." Yuzuriha said sadly.
"What?!" Seiichirou whirled and stared at the young girl.
//She's sleeping now, in the upper most tower. Kanoe forced her to prick her finger. I had not foreseen this..//
"No!" Karen said, eyes wide. "Does that mean, until her one true love comes to kiss, that she'll be asleep forever?"
The royal fortune teller overheard this in a dream, and asked. "Is that so bad?" Of course, no one heard him.
"Yes...but, she's met someone we think is her love. He's a Prince for another kingdom, and we know he loves her. He's been destined to die for the woman he loved."
"As long as he dies after he kisses her." Karen muttered.
"We're really very sorry about this," Kotori drew her wand out of her dress pocket. "We're going to have to put you all into a deep sleep, so you don't have to wait for Sorata to come and awaken her. When she awakes, we'll take this spell off."
"All of them?" Yuzuriha asked.
The other two fairies gave her a look. "Yes, all of the royal family and servants." Yuzuriha pouted, but held up her own wand as well. With a flick of the wands and some well placed words, everyone in the castle fell asleep where they stood.
The fairies stood in the middle of the dining hall, surrounded by sleeping people. "We should put vines and thorns around the palace, to discourage anyone but Sorata from coming in to rescue Arashi." Yuzuriha pointed out.
"Good idea." So, thousands of thorny vines covered the area surrounding the castle, making entrance and exit impossible. Unless, of course, you're a fairie, then you can fly over them.
In a nearby kingdom, Sorata sat boredly in his room, ears still hurting from his father's harsh reprimand. 6th one of the day, in fact. It seemed since he had gotten home that nothing he did was going to be good enough for his father. What Sora really wanted to do now was just go see Arashi, maybe even ask for her hand in marriage. He really did love her, and he suspected she had some feelings beyond friendship for him.
Oh well, he sighed. He was engaged to a baroness' daughter, and the wedding was next week. He didn't want to marry any one other then Arashi, but his father refused to even consider a commoner for his son's wife, no matter how beautiful she may have been.
The very object of his thoughts appeared before him, like an illusion. He snapped up straight and stared at it. There was his Arashi, sleeping in a bed, and he had a feeling she wasn't going to wake... not until he went to get her.
The illusion faded, with her soft voice saying his name. His heart clenched upon hearing it, and he stood up and grabbed a sack from under his bed. Throwing in a few personal belongings, and after writing a hasty note to his father and an apology to his fiancee, Sorata jumped out the window. It was good his bedroom was on the first floor.